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View Full Version : Why all the hate for "The Black Dahlia"


Pride
07-08-2007, 10:15 PM
I actually realy liked this movie (8/10) but it seems Im the only one....

Just wondering why all the hate for this movie?

chinton
07-08-2007, 10:29 PM
I didn't like to begin with but after reading the book I was shocked at the many many things it either left it or just did really really poorly. The thing that stand out is the ending which in the movie is both confusing and a campy disaster but is actually powerful in the book. It is also really botched one of the more interesting themese of the book the idea that Bucky is having sex with Madeline simply because she looks like the Black Dahlia.

I also think the acting paricuraly by Fiona Shaw, Johansen, and Swank is disastrous.

Scarfather
07-08-2007, 10:31 PM
Unlikable characters skipping through a badly handled plot with terrible writing and a conclusion so inanely stupid that I didn't even care how great the cinematography was anymore.

Cronos
07-08-2007, 10:50 PM
aside from Swank who was just terrible i liked the film, the rest of the acting was pretty good, the direction was great and i got into the plot and found it interesting

i haven't read the book though so don't know how different it is

8/10

JCPhoenix
07-09-2007, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by chinton
I didn't like to begin with but after reading the book I was shocked at the many many things it either left it or just did really really poorly. The thing that stand out is the ending which in the movie is both confusing and a campy disaster but is actually powerful in the book. It is also really botched one of the more interesting themese of the book the idea that Bucky is having sex with Madeline simply because she looks like the Black Dahlia.

I also think the acting paricuraly by Fiona Shaw, Johansen, and Swank is disastrous.

Completely agree...this is one of my favorite books and it was a massive disappointment to see how disastrous the whole thing turned out. I felt the book was all about the guilt and obsession of the main character, an admittedly tricky thing to put onscreen but they completely bombed that aspect of the film.

Visually from a cinematographic pov, the film is quite fantastic at times...I loved the Touch of Evil-esque shot when the body is discovered and there were many times when I felt like there were bits of brilliance there but then the mediocre/terrible elements overwhelmed them all. Part of the problem was dePalma's approach to the material (brilliant at times, completely off at others) but the major part of the problem is the condensed screenplay which basically just does the entire story in voiceovers in the second half...

The only sequence that was on par with what I was hoping for this movie was the big death scene in the middle of the film. That was done to perfection. If only the rest of the film had been as good...

When I saw it though, I walked out of the film pretty much trying to delude myself into liking it...but quite honestly, it was a disaster.

Scarface98.9
07-09-2007, 01:17 AM
There are a few scenes that were incredibly well done, at least with the performance: any scene with the black dahlia herself, played by Mia Kirschner. She was excellent in it. But whenever it veered away from the actual dahlia story, it was boring, tiring, and completely campy. Not to mention Hilary Swank was awful and a lot of the movie makes no sense because of her; she looks NOTHING like the Black Dahlia

A.J. Hakari
07-09-2007, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Scarfather
Unlikable characters skipping through a badly handled plot with terrible writing and a conclusion so inanely stupid that I didn't even care how great the cinematography was anymore.

El ditto.

Eckhart's flipping-out and Fiona Shaw doing the female equivalent of Nic Cage in THE WICKER MAN didn't help out either.

unspoken
07-09-2007, 02:06 AM
I thought the pacing was horrid. Honestly, there could have been half an hour worth of edits out of the final cut. So much unnecessary deviance from the main plot, only to have an ending that was completely ridiculous.

bigred760
07-09-2007, 02:10 AM
Hilary Swank's poor acting and horrible accent for starters. The movie had no flow whatsoever and I didn't care about any of the characters or what was going on with them. One of the worst movies I've seen in a while.

dannywalker17
07-09-2007, 02:16 PM
It was just so convoluted. It's one thing to have a complicated noir, but if it doesn't all make sense when you add it up, then it's just a mess. And the ending was a campy disaster.

Tuukka
07-09-2007, 03:52 PM
There was no focus. That was the problem. Storywise, the film never delivers to it's promise. Supposedly the story is about the murder, but the whole thing gets sidetracked so many times, that it becomes meandering. And while at the end it's revealed that many of those sidetrackings in fact were related to the murder, you don't know this while you are watching the story.

Uneven acting was also a problem, but less so.

Before the film came outt, I read many people say that the book is not very suitable for adaptation because of it's complex, convoluted structure. I guess those people were right. I can see how an expanded version of this story could work very well on page, but a movie needs tighter focus and structure.

I was still mildly entertainend. And it was a very pretty film to look at.

Derrida
07-09-2007, 04:20 PM
Why the hatred? Because Josh Hartnett was terribly miscast. And Scarlett can't fucking act either.

Bourne101
07-09-2007, 04:45 PM
I thought the movie was very disappointing. After a great, mysterious and creepy trailer, it was a big let down. It wasn't a bad film by any means and it was directed very well, but the acting was just OK and the movie became boring as it moved along.

6/10

Hannibal21
07-09-2007, 09:10 PM
It's a case of style over substance, which can sometimes work brilliantly (Femme Fatale) and sometimes be the movie's undoing. In the case of TBD, it works up to a certain point, but it overall feels like a film in which the director actually lacks control over the material. De Palma seems to simultaneously want to head purposefully into camp territory and make a serious film noir, but it doesn't really work, as the tone shifts pretty unevenly and the plot just becomes more and more convoluted as it progresses (hey, even if the style takes precedence for much of the movie, the story aspect still should make just a bit of sense). The acting is also uneven, except for an Oscar worthy turn from Mia Kirshner. At least Hilary Swank and Fiona Shaw are deliberately campy, but Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson both try way too hard that they end up looking like high schoolers unsucessfully playacting archetypes of noir. Granted, the film is amazing (if a bit exagerrated) from a visual standpoint, but given the source material and the talent behind the camera, I expected it to be executed with a lot more focus in tone and plot.

I still enjoyed it enough in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way, since the unintentional laughs are almost endless, from the godawful lines to the even more disastrous performances, but I have to agree with what's already been said here.

ilovemovies
07-09-2007, 09:16 PM
I thought Hartnett and Eckhart were both terrific. Swank and Johansson were okay. Not great by any means but they weren't too bad either. Swank's mother was the only bad performance. I liked the look of the movie. I liked the style. And I enjoyed the story. There is a twist or two that come out of nowhere but I was okay with that.

So to me The Black Dahlia was, by no means, a great movie, but it was a very enjoyable movie that I liked quite a lot.

I'd give it a 7/10.

BorderEevilIII
07-09-2007, 11:07 PM
The movie just did not have that special something like L.A. Confidential had

I managed to sit thru this and me did not likey :D

TylerDurden182
07-09-2007, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by Scarfather
Unlikable characters skipping through a badly handled plot with terrible writing and a conclusion so inanely stupid that I didn't even care how great the cinematography was anymore.

This is 100% correct.

Derek237
07-09-2007, 11:34 PM
Funny, I just watched this today. I can't really see why it's hated, either. It's an OKAY movie...I can't say I particularly disliked it or anything, I'm just kind of iffy about it. It had its moments. I'd probably give it a 5.